Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2023

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the estimated number of people who will be diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma (AdCC) each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors, and no 2 people with cancer are the same. Use the menu to see other pages.

Every person is different, with different factors influencing their risk of being diagnosed with this cancer and the chance of recovery after a diagnosis. It is important to talk with your doctor about any questions you have around the general statistics provided below and what they may mean for you individually. The original sources for these statistics are provided at the bottom of this page.

How many people are diagnosed with AdCC?

AdCC is an uncommon type of cancer. Each year, an estimated 1,300 people in the United States are diagnosed with AdCC. Worldwide, an estimated 200,000 people have this disease. About 60% are women. AdCC can occur in adults and children.

What is the survival rate for AdCC?

There are different types of statistics that can help doctors evaluate a person’s chance of recovery from AdCC. These are called survival statistics. It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with AdCC are only an estimate. They cannot tell an individual person if cancer will or will not shorten their life. Instead, these statistics describe trends in groups of people previously diagnosed with the same disease, including specific stages of the disease.

One study found that the 5-year survival rate for people in the United States with AdCC is approximately 80%. The 10-year survival rate is about 61%, and the 15-year survival rate is approximately 29%.

The survival rates for AdCC vary based on several factors. These include the stage of cancer, a person’s age and general health, and how well the treatment plan works.

Late recurrences are common among people diagnosed with AdCC. A late recurrence is cancer that has come back many years after treatment has finished. About half of the time, recurrences of AdCC are diagnosed at the metastatic stage, meaning it has spread to other parts of the body. However, tumor growth for AdCC is often slow, and people may live a long time with metastatic disease. 

Experts measure survival rate statistics for AdCC cancer every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how AdCC is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the websites of the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, and the Oral Cancer Foundation. Additional statistics are from Jang S, Patel PN, Kimple RJ, McCulloch TM. Clinical Outcomes and Prognostic Factors of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Head and Neck. Anticancer Res. 2017 Jun;37(6):3045-3052. (All sources accessed February 2023.)

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It describes the factors that may increase the chance of developing AdCC. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.